April 04, 2021
Happy Easter to all who celebrate! In lieu of bunnies or lilies, allow me to regale you with Easter egg-colored wildflowers from a recent drive southeast of San Antonio, about 2 hours south of Austin. While this isn’t a banner year for Texas wildflowers — perhaps due to dry conditions last fall — I’d heard reports of decent patches around Poteet and Sutherland Springs, so that’s where I headed on Thursday afternoon.
Bluebonnets, our state flower, were scarce, but fields of yellow and pink dazzled under a blue sky.
Identifying wildflowers isn’t one of my superpowers, so I’ll leave it to you to speculate about the IDs. But if I had to take a stab at it, I’d guess golden groundsel and verbena?
With a handful of bluebonnets thrown in.
Long-limbed live oaks were busily re-leafing in shades of bright green.
Their dark, stately presence in the central Texas landscape makes the frothing, brightly colored wildflowers look even more festive in comparison.
I’m especially grateful for spring flowers this year after the epic freeze of February.
Thank goodness the wildflowers are able to carry on.
White prickly poppies are abundant this year.
I was surprised to see Indian blanket so early in the season. Its blazing red disks usually appear in the second wave in late April and May.
In the community of Las Gallinas, I spotted a massive live oak that had split or blown over but kept growing from its prostrate trunks. Kind of sums up how we all feel after the past year of pandemic and Arctic freeze, doesn’t it, my fellow Texans?
A stone marker memorializes a church long gone.
Those early churchgoers no doubt enjoyed Easter wildflowers 145 years ago, just as we do today.
The wildflowers endure, even as once-bustling communities fade away.
Here I must give you an obligatory cow-with-wildflowers photo.
Even better, two cows!
Just across the road, like scattered confetti, more wildflowers were blooming.
This big old live oak standing almost in the road is beautiful too.
I stopped here to get a closeup of prairie phlox.
And what is this prickly-leaved white flower?
Yellow, pink, and purple wildflowers with iconic live oaks in the distance
You have to step carefully along the roadsides, watching for fire ants and snakes and making sure not to cross onto private property. And of course only pull over where you can get safely off the road.
I spotted a few thick patches of bluebonnets here and there, but not where I could photograph them. And nothing like the fields of blue in banner-bluebonnet years past. But still, they’re out there, mingling with wildflowers that are more dominant this year.
It’s a rite of spring for me to go looking for them along the back roads of Texas.
And to capture the unique springtime beauty of my adopted home state.
For more scenes from a better wildflower year in the same area south of San Antonio, click here and here for a wildflower safari I made in 2019.
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